Mike Feeney is a photographer and designer here at Draper. Sometimes he travels to a facility where Draper products have been installed, and takes some nice photos for our marketing work. He has written a few notes about a field trip last week. He got a few nice shots too!
I’m not a basketball guy.
That may not seem very common here in rural Indiana, just a stone’s throw away from where the movie Hoosiers was filmed.
(By the way, did you know that the gymnasium where much of Hoosiers was filmed has Draper window shades in it? Yep.)
Anyway, I was aware of the phrase “March Madness,” but as far as I knew, it had to do with the change from winter to spring and the itch to see actual sunshine again.
When I received an email saying that over 300 Draper FlexShades had recently been installed in the NCAA’s new headquarters in downtown Indianapolis, I at least had a vague idea what that meant. “NCAA” – that refers to some ball-related sport, right?
And would I mind driving over to take some photos of the installation? Not at all, I’d be happy to.
On the day of the shoot, I arrived at NCAA’s headquarters and immediately knew I had arrived someplace special. The “new building,” as they call it, is beautiful inside and out.
I walked in the front doors carrying camera and tripod, and stopped at the security station. I told the guard who I was there to see. He inquired skeptically, “Is she expecting you?” Yes, she was.
It turned out that this was a busy day for her and many others there at NCAA HQ. Not only is it the middle of March Madness, but ESPN was also onsite for a broadcast. There was an excited vibe among the staff, and it was clear that this was the nerve center.
The guard made a phone call, found out I was legit, and proceeded to make me a name badge with my face on it, and gave me a little wireless key fob that would give me access to various areas of the building. Neato.
My contact graciously led me up to the top floor where the best views of downtown Indianapolis could be found, along with the bulk of our window shades. I was then left alone to wander where I wanted and take photos. I couldn’t have asked for more accommodating hosts.
Over the next few hours I explored the building and found many areas featuring our window shades in cool office areas and conference rooms. As I passed the offices and cubicles of NCAA employees I also passed basketball paraphernalia that I’m sure would make many rabid fans jealous. Through a long bank of windows of one conference room in particular I could see a clear view of the adjacent NCAA Hall of Champions museum.
Throughout the visit, although I know very little about basketball (and even less about college ball) it was clear that I was visiting during a special time. Some of my more sports-oriented friends and coworkers were more than a little jealous upon hearing where I’d been, and the freedom I was granted to explore and photograph.
I might even have to watch a game or two before the tournament ends.